Home race for Ferrari ended up with a P2 behind a flying Max Verstappen who climbed up from P7 rather quickly. The RB18B has proved – yet again – of being a better car than the one they put together in Maranello, but the team’s decision to pit Charles Leclerc twice didn’t appear to be the best choice.
Ferrari called him into the pits for mediums as early as lap 12, when a Virtual Safety Car was caused by Sebastian Vettel’s Aston. Red Bull meanwhile stayed out and only switched Verstappen to mediums on lap 26.
“It’s not difficult, it’s impossible to beat a faster car. Not to win when you have the fastest car you might only make it wrong with strategy, you can’t lose the race if you have a fast car with right strategy,” said Binotto after the race in a session with media including MotorLat.
“Today he was fast, so whatever was the strategy he would have won, that’s the point.”
“But pitting and moving on the two stops with Charles wasn’t the wrong decision, because you never know what might happen during the race, you don’t know how tyre degradation for Max might be on a longer stint.”
“And if you look back at the car behind for example, George, the gap that Charles had at the end of the race from George was a bit uncomfortable.”
Not the first time this season that Ferrari misses out on a win after starting from pole position.
“If we look back at the last three races – I would include Hungary as well – it seems that the performance of the Red Bull has been better than ours.”
“Not in quali, because it seems that in quali we still have a good pace and it shows performance is still there, but then the race pace is not, we are suffering tyre degradation.”
Considering how the season had started out – Ferrari seemed to perform far better than everyone else – it’s in development that things took the wrong turn for the team.
“The Red Bull is a better car, they were able to set the car for a better balance and tyre degradation while we didn’t.”